Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure to fuse two or more vertebrae to restrict their movement. The procedure is recommended to eliminate the pain caused by incorrect movement of vertebrae. Although the procedure is most commonly done for lumbar region, cervical and thoracic vertebrae can also be treated in cases of damage due to accidents or to reduce pressure on the nerves. Other conditions where spinal fusion can be recommended by orthopedic surgeons include degenerative disc disease, spinal tumor, spondylosis and vertebral fracture.
Immobilization of vertebrae can be done by posterolateral lumbar fusion or lateral interbody fusion. In posterolateral lumbar procedure, surgeons surgically place a graft along the side of vertebrae which stimulates bone growth leading to immobilization. In interbody fusion, a graft is placed in the intervertebral space with a lateral surgical approach. In this approach, procedure can be performed with minimal damage the interbody graft can be placed without disturbing the nerves or opening the back muscles. Screws and rods are also used to fixed and stabilize the bones.
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Interbody cages are available in various materials such as titanium, stainless steel, polyether ether ketone (PEEK), and bio-absorbable material. Bio-absorbable or resorbable materials (poly-L-lactic acid) are becoming increasingly popular owing to their special property of being absorbed in the body over time. This eliminates repeat surgery required to remove the implant after the bones have healed. Moreover bio-absorbable material does not suffer from effects of magnetic field or magnetic resonance (MR) effect, and also facilitate better imaging. Demand for minimally invasive procedures has increased as are less painful, and allow quick recovery. Although currently, surgeons follow traditional approach for surgery, increasing knowledge of minimally invasive techniques among surgeons as well as patients will accelerate the market growth in the near future.
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Increasing incidences of road accidents, sedentary lifestyle and irregular exercise have resulted in increased spinal pain and other disorders. Aging population and osteoporosis has also been a major contributing factor to the spinal surgeries. Key players in the market include Stryker, Orthofix, Globus Medical, Zimmer, and DePuy Synthes.
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